Ansonia Students Honored At Awards Banquet

Four Ansonia students were presented with the Superintendent’s Award of Excellence at the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendent’s annual awards dinner on Dec. 7 at Grassy Hill Lodge, Orange.

The students are Elizabeth Cavanaugh and Jesse Brookins of Ansonia High School and Arianna Swaby and Jeffrey Benavides of Ansonia Middle School. They were presented with their awards by Dr. Carol Merlone, Superintendent of Schools; Dr. Joseph DiBacco, Assistant Superintendent, and their school administrators, which includes AHS Principal Terri Goldson, Assistant Principal Sara Crooks, Dean of Students Tom Brockett, AMS Principal Dr. Michael Marotto and Assistant Principal Steve Marchetti.

Their parents, guardians and family members – as well as Ansonia’s Teacher of the Year Jamie Ekstrand of Prendergast School – were also on hand to honor them. All four students were selected for their school and community leadership, as well as for their reliability, motivation, humility and respectful behavior. Here are some of their many activities and accomplishments:

Elizabeth is a member of the National Honor Society, alto section leader for the AHS Chorus, a member of the after school chorus, and a volunteer tutor in the Charger Center. She is a dedicated member of Trinity Church, where she volunteers in the nursery, at sports camp and in the church youth and adult music ministry.

Jesse is a member of the National Honor Society and the math team and he volunteers in the Charger Center and at the Griffin Cancer Center. He has worked as a teacher’s assistant at AHS and this year joined the Global Scholars Club, which is traveling to Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Krakow during the April break in 2018.

Arianna “has a heart for volunteering” and is currently assisting a student who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She helps the student with homework and daily life activities. She is in the National Junior Honor Society, the Yearbook Club, and the Film Club. She plays softball and basketball as well. Arianna aspires to be a journalist or writer who specializes in politics.

Jeffrey demonstrates “genuine concern” for his classmates and possesses an in-depth working knowledge of all content areas. He has volunteered his time and collected donations for Spooner House, and in his spare time, he is learning the Martial Arts. His future plan is to be a cardiologist.


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